Tips For Buying Ancient Greek Coins
Collecting ancient Greek coins can be a very gratifying and lucrative hobby when you know what to look for, where to look, and how to make sure you are getting what you paid for. Because of the rarity of these coins, they are not always easy to find, and you may have to look and buy them online. Of course, buying anything online can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you perform due diligence so you have a good collection that is legal for you to have in your home.
When collecting ancient coins, you need to know which countries can legally export them to the U.S. This may entail having documentation that shows where the coin has been for as far back as possible. Once you get to the oldest owner, you are going to need a statement of "Best knowledge and belief." This basically states that the person had the right to sell the item and states where the coin was manufactured.
While most countries allow for the importation of ancient coins, some restrict their exportation. The restriction could be based on the value of the coin, the rarity of the coin, or where it was manufactured. You need to be sure the coins you are buying are legal for you to own or you could end up with a piece you will never be able to sell. Even if you do not plan on selling a coin, you do not want something that is basically of no value to you, especially when you probably paid a pretty penny for it.
When buying an ancient coin online, make sure the seller has some type of reputation for selling coins. Avoid buying from a private party that does not have any online presence for selling coins. Even if it is a reputable auction site, you want to only buy from people who are willing to have all their transactions public. You need to look at their previous sales and how the buyers responded to the transactions. It is true that people who have a bad experience are more likely to leave a bad comment than people who have a good experience are to leave comments. However, you can get a very good idea of how the seller operates by reading the comments, both good and bad. Bad comments seem to be exaggerated. A buyer may complain about the condition of an item, but the seller will usually reply with pictures of the item and offer to buy it back at the same price because they know they can sell it again.
Pay attention to how many coins a seller has for sale. Unless they state they are trying to liquidate their entire collection, they should only be selling a few items at a time. If they have multiple of the same coin, ask to see close up photos of each coin. Ancient Greek coins were made individually, by hand. This means that the coins are not going to be identical. Each coin should look slightly different than the others.
Buy from collectors who are members of a reputable, recognized numismatic association. These associations require the members to be honest with all their dealings and trades. Associations are a good place to look for coins for sale too. They may have copies of each member's collection so they can let you know who has what you are looking for and if it is for sale.
An ancient Greek coin collection can be a very good investment if you are careful with what you buy. It is much more fun than just sticking money in a bank. You can sell the coins if needed or can just keep them, enjoying each one for its beauty.